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Sign for St. Elizabeth’s sparks FBMA action

The location of a directional sign for St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church drew debate at the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Sept. 25.

The sign would be similar to directional signs for St. John Neumann School and Concord United Methodist Church, but Sugarwood residents were opposed to a sign that could block line-of-sight at the subdivision’s entrance.

“It’s obviously in the church’s best interest as well that it’s not blocking cars pulling out,” said Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes, a Sugarwood resident.

Haynes asked Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer if the Town had met with the homeowner’s association.

Palmer said no.

“For future reference, it seems like if we’re talking about something going in front of any subdivision … we ought to, as a matter of course, listen to homeowner’s associations,” Haynes said.

He asked Dr. Charles Gouffon, representative for St. Elizabeth’s, the same question.

Gouffon also replied the church had not met with the homeowner’s association.

Alderman John Williams asked why the church wanted the sign.

“Because people don’t know where our church is,” Gouffon said. The church’s entrance is off Sugarwood Drive and the building cannot easily be seen from Kingston Pike.

Gouffon said the church had designed the sign to be an exact replica of St. John Neumann’s sign, which is situated across Grigsby Chapel Road from the entrance to the school.

Dan Sparks, president of Sugarwood’s homeowner’s association, asked if the sign would be placed on the Town’s easement on the west side of the intersection of Sugarwood Drive and Kingston Pike.

Palmer displayed pictures of Sugarwood’s entrance, saying he understood the sign would be placed in the median on Sugarwood Drive.

Gouffon said the sign ordinance only indicated the sign needed to be placed on Town’s right-of-way and the church did not recommend any specific site for it.

“We’re not proposing it be placed [anywhere] except [the west side of Sugarwood’s entrance] because our church is up Sugarwood Drive,” Gouffon said.

“Quite frankly, before you showed me these pictures, I would have assumed it would be placed on the north side of Kingston Pike,” he added.

“But that’s not my decision to make according to the ordinance; according to the ordinance, that’s the Town’s decision.”

“This is a classic example [of] if anybody had bothered to sit down and let the church folks and the Sugarwood folks sit down together, they would have worked this out in about 15 minutes,” Haynes said.

“Well, yeah, you’re exactly right,” Gouffon said.

The site for the sign on the north side of Kingston Pike would be on a parcel currently for sale. If the land is sold, the sign might have to be moved.

“We’ll fight the battle when it comes,” said Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III.

The request was approved unanimously, with Alderman Dot LaMarche absent. The Town will install the sign, which will be purchased by the church.

In other business, the Board:

• Awarded the 2009 annual report contract to K. Kimmey Design. Nine thousand copies of the report will be distributed to Farragut homes in February.

• Postponed approval of the revised drainage policy.

• Noted Town Administrator Dan Olson had received a 25-year merit award from International City/County Management Association.


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